Renting Property in Greece: The Complete Guide
Undoubtedly, moving abroad can be daunting!
In between the process of arranging the documents till boarding the flight, the mind remains flooded with a million questions. Although we cannot answer all of them, we surely have a resolution to one of your biggest problems: How to find accommodation in Greece?
Indeed, it is a beautiful country, but unless you have a place in Greece that you can call home, you won’t be living happily there. Most people who move there initially prefer renting a property in Greece.
So, which is the best place to live in Greece? What is the procedure for moving in and out of the rental property? How can real estate agents help you?
Read along, and you will find an answer to each little query of yours. So, without any further ado, let’s proceed.
Should You Rent or Buy a Property in Greece?
Whether buying or renting a property in Greece, the first step is to set the budget and investigate your local area.
Renting property in Greece is an excellent way to get familiar with the country before permanently settling there. You can sign a long-term or a short-term contract depending upon your requirements and duration of stay. As a matter of fact, monthly payments will be lower if you commit to a longer contract.
So, once you have found the perfect place to live, you can buy your own house in Greece. Furthermore, property prices were reduced to half between 2008 and 2017 but keeping in mind the country’s economic status, they are again on a surge.
If you are an EU resident, there are no restrictions on you buying a property there. However, you will have to register whether you will use it for residential or investment/rental purposes. Besides, the property owner is supposed to be a registered taxpayer and hold a Greek bank account.
But since we begin by renting a property in Greece, we will keep our discussion limited to renting and its procedures. So, here are some important points you must be aware of.
Things To Consider Before Renting a Home in Greece
It takes a lot of research and effort to relocate to a foreign country where you have no acquaintances. Therefore, to help you relieve some stress, here are a few things to consider before renting property in Greece.
Choose a Location
If you already have a job secured in the country, you definitely know where you will be renting a house. You can do some research on which areas of the city lie close to your workplace and the transportation system available.
However, the ones who do not have a job fixed yet have a lot more freedom to search the place. Keep your research focused on cost and quality of living and the availability of rental properties. This way, you will find the ideal place for renting a property in Greece.
Type of Accommodation
After you have decided the location, you need to consider the size of the accommodation. For instance, a studio apartment will be enough if you are moving alone, and if you are moving with the family, you will look for a regular apartment. Besides, there are plenty of housing options like houses, villas, condos, etc.
When you opt for a short-term rental contract, the amenities are often billed to the landlord and are included in the rent itself. Moreover, in a long-term contract, the tenant has to take care of all the utilities himself. Not to mention, furnished houses and apartments are more expensive.
Finding a Rental Property in Greece
The wisest way of renting a property in Greece is to consider local help. Since you may not be aware of the country’s financial situation and property market, it’s good to hire a real estate agent.
- A real estate agent will help you in finding landlords who are willing to let a part or whole of their property. Besides, there are few English speakers in Greece, so a local agent will communicate on your behalf and get you your desired property.
The agent can fix the meetings and even help you with rent negotiation. Not to mention, they know better where and who is offering the best deal.
- Expats must also look for sale signs and ask locals whether they are aware of any property available for rent. This is also a perfect way to get acquainted with some Greek locals. Enoikiazetai is the Greek word for ‘for rent,’ so go and check it out if you see this on any house.
- Greeks who wish to let their properties also advertise it online and in local newspapers. Although most ads are in Greek, you can use a translator to decode the language.
Caution: The ads written in English are aimed to drive foreign attention and might be rated expensive. Therefore, be very careful while looking for a property in Greece.
Documents Needed for a Greek Rental Contract
A rental contract is signed with mutual agreement of the two parties, the landlord and the tenant. However, you need to keep the below documents handy in order to sign the contract:
- A valid ID (issued by the government, a passport is acceptable)
- Proof of income
- A guarantor to countersign the contract (optional)
- Your Greek tax number (AFM)
Besides, the contract for renting property in Greece usually entails the following information.
- Initials of the landlord and the tenant
- Description of the property and the purpose of renting
- The rental amount and deposit amount
- The term of the lease, including the starting and end date
- Mention of other utility bills and payments
Note: It’s not compulsory to have household insurance for either the tenant or landlord.
Best Places To Rent in Greece
Every place in Greece has got a different atmosphere. However, it depends on your personal needs and goals where you want to live.
Besides, here are some best places you can choose for renting a property in Greece.
The capital city, Athens, is the most vibrant place in the country. It is very close to the Greek islands and offers a bustling nightlife. Since most businesses and government organizations are based in Athens, settling in Greece remains the topmost priority of an expat.
Renting in central Athens
|One-three-bedroom apartment (central city)
|€400 – €850
|One-three-bedroom apartment (outside the city)
|€500 – €780
Besides, other utilities might cost around €150, and for groceries, it can be anywhere between €50 to €100, depending on the household size.
It is the second-largest and one of the most important centers of the country. Since Thessaloniki is sprawling along the coastline of the beautiful Thermaic Gulf, it has many unique landmarks. If you plan to rent a property in this city, here is how much it can cost you.
Renting in central Thessaloniki
|One-three bedroom apartment (central city)
|€330 – €550
|One-three bedroom apartment (outside the city)
|€280 – €450
Furthermore, other utilities and groceries may cost around €200 to €300 altogether.
Sparta and Poligiros
Sparta lies in the foothills of Mount Taygetos, and the housing prices are surprisingly low. The lush countryside offers quiet living and proximity to the sea. Likewise, Poligiros is about an hour’s drive from Thessaloniki and has a good international airport connection.
The rent in Sparta ranges from €200 to €600 depending upon the housing property type and its location.
Furthermore, the rent of a property in Poligiros is almost similar to that of Sparta.
Other utilities can be easily managed under a sum of €200 – €250.
The Costs of Renting Real Estate in Greece
Now that you know the location where renting property in Greece will be ideal for you, here are some more expenses that you would have to bear. These are devoid of the amount you will be spending to pay rent.
Other Fees and Costs
If you have signed a short-term rental contract, the standard utilities might be billed to the landlord. However, you will have to follow whatever is stated in the lease agreement. Besides, for long-term rentals, you are accountable for your own utilities. Sometimes, they can be extremely high on top of the rent.
- The internet charges are as high as €30 per month
- Bus/train fares in the city center are €1.40 per kilometer
- Essential utilities for a small apartment are €110 per month approximately
The tenant usually has to pay a sum equivalent to two months’ rent as a rental deposit before moving in. This is returned after the contract expires only if there is no damage to the property, which happens rarely.
Doing an inventory of the damages upon arrival can save the tenant from losing the deposit.
Moving In and Moving Out
Ensure that you understand each little detail mentioned in the lease agreement while renting a property in Greece to avoid last-minute hassles. Besides, there are two essential terms and their functions you need to be aware of.
An inventory is a document that describes the original condition of the property at the time when it was given to the tenant. A tenant must have a copy of it as it can help him exempt from the claims of damages he hasn’t caused.
Furthermore, both parties can mutually review the inventory to ensure what constitutes fair wear and tear.
If you wish to end the three-year contract before time, you are supposed to give a one-month notice period in advance. The lease is terminated automatically after the term has ended. This means you can leave, and the landlord can get the property evicted without prior notice.
If you wish to continue staying there, a new contract must be signed.
Selecting the Right Team
It is advisable to engage in real estate agent services while renting a property in Greece. However, you need to be careful while selecting your team.
Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent in Greece
Below is what you must look for in a real estate agent:
- Knowledge of properties: The right agents will know what you are looking for. They will find you the best property within budget with their adequate knowledge of the market.
- Detail to attention: They will listen to all your demands and follow up with leads. Besides, they must be able to communicate well in English to deliver all the information in the right sense.
- Good at negotiation: If they are skilled enough, they will negotiate with the landlord on your behalf. Moreover, they will get the rent agreement arranged in English so that you can thoroughly understand what’s written there.
Selecting a Lawyer in Greece
Hiring a lawyer in the country you are moving to is a necessity. Since you are a foreigner, you may not be aware of the local rules and regulations. Therefore, you are in a safe zone if a licensed lawyer has got your back.
However, you need to make sure that the lawyer is registered with Greece’s legal department and can also function as your financial advisor.
Landlord and Tenant Laws in Greece
The landlord and the tenant must be aware of certain obligations while renting property in Greece.
As a tenant:
- You are supposed to pay full rent on or by the said date mentioned in the contract
- The property must be kept in the same condition as was provided to you
- No minor or significant changes can be made in the property’s structure without the landlord’s consent
- Do not use the property for any other purpose than stated in the contract
- Notify on time if ending the contract
As a landlord:
- You can start procedures to evict the tenant if he is delaying paying the rent. This can take three to four months
- Pay all the taxes or charges resulting from the lease as per the law
- Perform all the essential repairing or maintenance works to keep the property suitable for leasing
Moreover, the tenant should keep a copy of the rent agreement and ask for rent receipts from the landlord.
Once the contract has been signed, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to get it stamped and registered with Greece’s local Tax Authority (eforia) within one month.
Tips for Renting a Home in Greece
Here are some essential terms that any ex-pat moving to Greece must be acquainted with.
Since you might have some more difficulty with renting property in Greece, go through these tips. We hope this will save you from stressing yourself.
- Start looking for accommodation before landing in Greece so that you prevent spending on hotels.
- Keep all your documents handy
- Before moving into a property, investigate it properly. Also, check whether it is registered for rental purposes or not
- Hire a lawyer to avoid indulging in any fraud and overcharging
- Understand every little detail mentioned in the contract
- Try to learn some common Greek words since only a few people know English there
Lastly, we wish you a great time as you start your new life in the Greek world!
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